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Boris drops into to Battle of Britain Bunker to view under-construction visitor centre

A renovation scheme has seen Hillingdon Council pump nearly £6 million into the project

Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP Boris Johnson has visited the Battle of Britain Bunker to view construction of its new visitor centre .

The former London Mayor checked up on progress being made at the high tech visitor and education centre being built at the Uxbridge site at the end of last month.

Expected to formally open in spring 2018, the state-of-the-art development will house a variety of museum exhibits, a cafe and gift shop, lecture theatre, plus additional facilities for schools, corporate events and functions.

Built in 1939, the bunker was turned into an underground operation after the government and armed forces suspected war might break out .

Hillingdon Council leader Ray Puddifoot shows Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP Boris Johnson around the under construction Battle of Britain Bunker visitor centre(Image: Hillingdon Council)

It housed the Fighter Command No.11 Group Operations Room throughout the Second World War, the room from which most of the RAF’s side of the Battle of Britain was coordinated.

The bunker, a short drive from Hillingdon and Uxbridge, is the only remaining bunker of its kind which survived after the turbulent war years.

Hillingdon Council, which owns the bunker site, has put nearly £6 million into the new centre, and leader Cllr Ray Puddifoot said he was honoured to welcome the MP.

The room is set up as it was on September 15, 1940, when the Battle of Britain took place

He said: “I was delighted to join Boris Johnson , who has been a major supporter of this project, to see the progress of the building work, and we are really looking forward to the official opening of the centre next year.

“London’s air defence was controlled from the bunker throughout World War II and was visited by both King George VI and Winston Churchill, so the new centre will be fitting for such a place of national and international significance.”

Speaking to getwestlondon in April, a council spokesperson said: “London’s air defence was controlled from the bunker throughout World War II and it was visited by several notable people, including King George VI and Winston Churchill.

“A state-of-the-art visitors centre will be fitting for such a place of national and international significance, helping to enhance the experience for the more than 7,000 tourists who visit each year, as well as attracting new visitors.”

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